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2010 GMC Terrain SLT-1 FWD 4dr

2010 GMC Terrain
Trim Info:
Front Wheel Drive, 4 Door, 2WD Sport Utility Vehicle
22 mpg city / 32 mpg hwy
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Expert Reviews

January 4, 2010 by Alison Lakin, Associate Editor

2010 GMC Terrain SLT
2010 GMC Terrain

DriverSide Overview 
It may seem like the same old tricks at General Motors with the company rebadging the Chevrolet Equinox and restyling the exterior design to produce a “new" vehicle for GMC, but to call the GMC Terrain a copycat would be to sell it short indeed. The 2010 Terrain is brand new to GMC and the first vehicle that seems geared to propel the company into the future (and hopefully out of economic trouble). It’s classified as a compact crossover SUV – despite its big boy, truck-like appearance – and has enough style and substance to make it a worthy competitor against the likes of the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. The cabin space is superbly laid out, and the design is more thoughtfully organized and aesthetically pleasing than we’ve ever seen in a GMC. The SLT’s drive sports unexpectedly accurate responses and the car handles corners and hills competently, with an Ecotec inline-four or a V-6 on hand to give drivers a choice between fuel economy and power.

2010 GMC Terrain SLT
2010 GMC Terrain

2010 GMC Terrain SLT

2010 GMC Terrain SLT
What's to Like
There’s a lot to like in the Terrain, starting with the Ecotec four-cylinder’s great gas mileage. An optional, but highly recommended, power opening and closing liftgate makes it easy to load cargo into the back. Rear seats move forward and back depending on whether passenger comfort or storage room takes priority. Interior styling is polished.

What's Not to Like
The engine lacks mid-range power, and the navigation system isn’t very intuitive. Cargo space could be improved, especially if it’s being compared to the class leaders. Exterior design makes the Terrain look bulkier than it really is, and some buyers may be put off by the aggressive look.

The Drive:
DriverSide Driving Impressions

Overall we were pleasantly pleased with the Terrain’s on-road performance. Because of its crossover designation it produces a softer ride than larger SUVs tend to have, though that means road feel is sacrificed. Otherwise, comfort levels are high and the vehicle is easy to handle. While there is a lack of mid-range power, acceleration is generally adequate and the Terrain gets up to speed with little trouble. The brakes are fantastic, with a good feel to them and comfortably rapid engagement. The same can’t be said for the throttle, which seems a bit sluggish to engage. The engines, a frugal four-cylinder and more robust V-6, make for very different drives, and those looking for a bit more power and excitement should opt for the larger of the two. 

Engine and Drivetrain
Standard in the SLT trim is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which produces 182 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque. Also available is a 3.0-liter V-6 engine that gives the Terrain a significant bump in power to 264 horsepower and 222 lb-ft of torque, but watch for it to suck fuel economy away – especially compared to others in the segment. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and both front-wheel and all-wheel drive can be had.

Interesting Vehicle Features and Options
With the SLT-1, remote start and heated seats are included. If you opt for the SLT-2 trim level, far more convenience features are available, including a power liftgate, roof rack, driver memory functions, sunroof and rear parking sensors. A rear vision camera is standard, as are the sliding rear seats.

Key Technology Evaluation
The Terrain is the first GMC vehicle to utilize active noise cancelling technology to reduce the ambient noise within the cabin space. While we like the integrated seven-inch touchscreen for navigation and entertainment functions, it can be confusing at times with its complicated menus.

Green Evaluation/Gas Mileage
The Terrain SLT is a nice fuel saver for those who need a vehicle with some SUV capabilities. It receives 22 mpg in the city and a solid 32 mpg on the highway in front-wheel drive guise and 20 city, 29 highway with all-wheel drive. An Ecotec engine is standard for the four-cylinder. The V-6 fares a bit worse with 17 city, 25 highway in 2WD and drop of an additional one mpg highway for the AWD.

A Closer Look:  Vehicle Details

We can only hope that the Terrain’s interior is the direction GMC will continue to go with its other models. It has features like steering wheel controls, a deep center console storage area and an optional two-tone color scheme that make the Terrain look good while providing plenty of functionality.

Boxy wheel arches and a large, aggressive front grille dominate the exterior design of the Terrain. And while there’s little doubt that the angular design can be polarizing, the Terrain is actually quite reasonably sized when viewed in person. 18-inch wheels are standard with the SLT, but 19s are available for a little extra cash.

Market Segment and Pricing
The Terrain starts at $27,450 for the SLT-1 FWD and tops out at $31,000 for the AWD SLT-2. This seems to be a little high when comparing it to the Toyota RAV4 Limited ($24,490), Honda CR-V EX-L ($26,495) and Ford Escape Limited ($25,305), but some important distinctions like better fuel consumption or more advanced tech features set the Terrain apart. Buyers will also want to look at the Terrain’s stablemate, the Chevrolet Equinox LTZ ($28,045).

What We Think
This is certainly an easy car to live with, and we might add that it’s a huge step up for GMC. Driving is a pleasure and the Ecotec four-cylinder engine is frugal enough to make its lack of mid-range power worthwhile. The Terrain SLT’s interior is versatile, well designed and comfortable, containing more than enough extra features for you and your family. Buyers would be sorely missing out if they didn’t take a good look at this crossover.

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